Isaiah 35: 1,10
35:1 The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad, the desert shall rejoice and blossom; … For waters shall break forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert; 35:10 And the ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to Zion with singing; everlasting joy shall be upon their heads; they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.
Did you ever wonder way we sing Christmas Carols? One year I put a sign on our outside church bulletin board that read we sing Christmas Carols. I did it because in most U. S schools children are not allowed to sing Christmas Carols
When Israel suffered complete destruction, when the land was barren, when the temple lay in ruins Isaiah promised a complete reversal. When outward circumstances offered no hope, Israel hoped. The Judeo-Christian hope is different from a wish. When I buy a lottery ticket I have the wish my number will win, but I do not start spending the money. But when my dad was living he often told me he would send a check to Transylvania for my living expenses. With his promise I could start spending the money even though I didn’t have it. You cannot count on a wish, but you can base your life on hope. Christians and Jews do not wish, they hope even when all seems hopeless.
Christians believe that the highway into the heart of God comes when a person lets Christ into their life. When a person’s life is touched by the finger of God, dryness and dust are replaced by moist, fertile soil. In place of living death life blooms.
You and I have seen persons who had no vision, no hope, no direction, and who lived in hopelessness find a highway into the heart of God and that highway was Christ.
We have seen Christians crushed beneath seeming unbearable burdens, and yet those Christians have gone on believing that good can come out of evil, believing that a birth in a stable is the sign that God is with us no matter what because that stable is the cross – resurrection from another perspective. We believe that the suffering and death of Jesus Christ has conquered all suffering and death. We trust the angels had good reason to sing for joy in the skies over Bethlehem. We believe that beneath the wounds and scars that life inflicts on us all, deep at the heart of eternity, joy still awaits us in the presence of God. On the cross as Jesus was dying he said, “Father into your hands I commend my spirit.” On the Cross, Jesus let us know even as he died he experienced God’s love but also looked forward to the heavenly banquet that he promised his disciples when he said, “This is my blood of the covenant poured out for the remission of sins. I tell you I will not drink it againuntil I drink it anew with you in the Kingdom of God.” It is that kingdom that lives in us now and that we look forward to in eternity and that is the reason we sing Christmas Carols. Joy to World, The Lord is come. Let earth receive her king let every heart prepare him room.